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How menu-labeling affects catering

catering sandwich tray

When the Food and Drug Administration released its first draft of menu-labeling regulations in January 2015, there were a lot of questions about how the rules would affect off-site catering by chains. The FDA’s latest draft, released in September and scheduled to take effect on Dec. 1, 2016, provides answers.

How will the regulations affect catering?

Off-premise catered food is subject to the same regulations if it is provided by a chain with more than 20 units. Every menu item must be labeled with calorie counts.

How does that apply to a tray of varied sandwich selections?

Calories should be provided for each individual sandwich. However, if the sandwiches share common ingredients, such as bread, calories can be listed like this:

SandwichWheat/Italian bread
Turkey110 Cal/120 Cal
Roast Beef120 Cal/130 Cal
Veggie80 Cal/90 Cal
Ham & Cheese150 Cal/160 Cal

Where and how must calorie information be displayed?

The calories should be listed on a menu that accompanies the order, adjacent to the name or price of the item.

La Madeleine now encloses lists of calorie counts with catering orders, providing data for the whole tray as well as individual sandwiches. It also refers customers to the website’s nutrition calculator for more specifics. 

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